Editors and Editing: An Introduction

Is editing the career for you?

Through course reading, exercises, and assignments, we will introduce you to the roles and responsibilities of editors, as well as the knowledge and skills editors need to succeed. We’ll also explore the world of the editor and examine different aspects of editing—structural editing, stylistic editing, copy editing, and proofreading.

The final assignment is due one week after the course ends.

Instructional hours: 12


Location: Online
Format: Self-paced within deadlines set by instructor
Duration: 4 weeks
Tuition: $452
Can be applied to:
Editing Certificate

Upcoming Offerings

Register for a course at any time, with the option to apply to a program later.

Start Date
Start DateWed, Jan 4, 2023
  • Wed, Jan 4 (self-paced all week)
  • Wed, Jan 11 (self-paced all week)
  • Wed, Jan 18 (self-paced all week)
  • Wed, Jan 25 (self-paced all week)
InstructorWendy Barron
Seats Available13
Start DateWed, Feb 15, 2023
  • Wed, Feb 15 (self-paced all week)
  • Wed, Feb 22 (self-paced all week)
  • Wed, Mar 1 (self-paced all week)
  • Wed, Mar 8 (self-paced all week)
Seats Available25
Start DateWed, Mar 29, 2023
  • Wed, Mar 29 (self-paced all week)
  • Wed, Apr 5 (self-paced all week)
  • Wed, Apr 12 (self-paced all week)
  • Wed, Apr 19 (self-paced all week)
InstructorJessie Johnston
Seats Available25
Start DateWed, May 3, 2023
  • Wed, May 3 (self-paced all week)
  • Wed, May 10 (self-paced all week)
  • Wed, May 17 (self-paced all week)
  • Wed, May 24 (self-paced all week)
Seats Available25
Start DateWed, Jun 21, 2023
  • Wed, Jun 21 (self-paced all week)
  • Wed, Jun 28 (self-paced all week)
  • Wed, Jul 5 (self-paced all week)
  • Wed, Jul 12 (self-paced all week)
Seats Available25

What you will learn

By the end of this course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Identify the role and responsibilities of an editor.
  • Explain the four main types and stages of editing and how editors fit into the overall publishing process.
  • Describe the author–editor relationship and the variables that help it succeed.
  • Recognize basic weaknesses and errors related to structural editing, stylistic editing, copy editing and proofreading.
  • Identify the skills and tools needed to work as an editor today.

How you will learn and be evaluated

Prepare to spend 6–10 hours per week on coursework, including:

  • Readings
  • Assignments and exercises
  • Online discussions 

You will be evaluated on:

  • Participation in discussions
  • 2 assignments (second assignment due 1 week after course ends)

Learning Materials

No textbook is required. We will provide all course materials online.

Recommended reading:

The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed, (or later): 2010. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0226104201

Once you begin the course you'll be sent SFU library access information for this text. Alternatively, you may wish to download a 30-day free trial of the online version of Chicago Manual of Style

Technical Requirements

For online courses, you will need a computer with audio and microphone that is connected to the internet. Canvas is the online system that will be used for the course. For more information and online support, visit Online Learning.

This course requires:

  • Microsoft Word (2010 or newer) and being comfortable with Track Changes function
  • A printer
  • A scanner or camera to create a digital copy of editing examples to be submitted for one of the assignments
  • High-speed internet access
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader

English language requirements

To succeed in this course, you will need an advanced level of written and spoken English. If you are unsure whether your English language skills are sufficient, we recommend you complete the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with the following minimums:

  • Overall band score minimum 6.5
  • No band below 6.0
  • Writing band score minimum 8.0

Please note we can’t refund your registration fees after the course start date if you find your English language skills are not adequate.

If you have questions or concerns about your English language proficiency, we encourage you to contact your local IELTS Test Centre.